Motorola Photon 4G Bootloader Unlocked

Filed under Development, Guides, News by Adam on August 13, 2011 at 8:01 PM
Photon Bootloader Unlock

Photon Bootloader Unlocked

Looks like the Atrix is not the only Motorola device with a makeshift bootloader unlock now. That’s right. The Motorola Photon 4G from Sprint today joins the original Droid and Atrix on the team of unshackled devices. Another developer system boot file from Motorola hid the “fastboot oem unlock” capability inside. Now it’s been made available for the general public.

Motorola Photon 4G users can unlock their devices with the easy flash of an SBF file using Motorola’s proprietary RSD Lite program. Check out the directions below if you’re interested in unlocking your own Photon 4G from Sprint. Make sure to thank Yay 4 Juggs  for providing the developer SBF and the2dcour for creating the unlock files on the forums for their integral work on this unlock solution.

The folks at Motorola still plan to release bootloader unlockable devices later this year and in 2012. Check out our “how to” guide for unlocking your device after the break.

How To: Unlock Photon 4G Bootloader

Make sure to visit the original thread here on XDA-Developers.



  1. Power down your Motorola Photon 4G
  2. Take out your microSD card and SIM card for the flashing process
  3. While turning the phone on, hold the Volume Up button until it acknowledges RSD
  4. Your device will say “Starting RSD protocol support”
  5. Run “RSD Lite” on your computer
  6. Press the “. . .” button next to the box labeled “Filename”
  7. Load up the SBF file
    • The SBF file is located inside of the .zip file, you must extract it out before loading it into RSD Lite
    • Use WinRAR or 7-Zip to extract the .zip file on your computer
  8. Plug your device into your computer
    • Use the USB ports on the back side of your computer for safety
  9. RSD Lite should recognize your device and say “Connected…”
  10. Press the “Start” button
  11. Be patient while the phone reboots. It will take a long time.
  12. Open and extract the Fastboot package from above
  13. Open a command prompt window
    • On Windows, press Start and type “cmd” then press the enter button
  14. Type the following command. Your directory will be the folder where you extracted the Fastboot package.
    (Example:  cd C:\Users\Kenneth\Desktop\fastboot-package)

    • cd your directory here
  15. Power down your Photon 4G device
  16. Hold the power button and the downward volume button until you see “Fastboot”
  17. Let go of the buttons and press the upward volume button once
  18. You will now see “Starting Fastboot protocol support”
  19. Plug your device into a USB port in the back slot of your computer
    • Front slots sometimes do not have enough power to stay connected to the device.
  20. Type the following command:
    • moto-fastboot oem unlock
  21. You will now receive a warning along with a unique device ID
  22. Type the following commandsusing your unique device ID in place of the ####:
    • moto-fastboot oem unlock ####
    • moto-fastboot reboot
  23. Wait for your device to reboot. Congratulations! You now have an unlocked bootloader!

Once you’re done unlocking your Motorola Photon 4G, make sure to head over to the Motorola Photon root article to get your Superuser fix.

29 responses to “Motorola Photon 4G Bootloader Unlocked”

  1. I like it. The Photon and Atrix share similar developers :D Done good

  2. JerryC says:

    you can also unlock the device itself from any carrier restriction.  get codes here:

  3. M8trix says:

    Got an error after step 10.   RSD says:

    Failed Flashing Process. Failed flashing process. Phone[0000]: The “Secure_Motorola_Flas” Interface could not be found.   The super-file is secure and re-flash; the phone needs a super-file that is not secure and not for re-flash.  [0x7066]; phone connec  

    (then gets cut off)

    • M8trix says:

      Update.   Apparently that ‘error’ message does not matter.   I rebooted the phone on a lark trying the down volume as instructed and it actually came up with the FASTBOOT and I was able to unlock.

      Now if I can only get it to ask me for the unlock code     

      • Thanks for the update!

      • M8trix says:

        I have successfully unlocked and rooted [all due gratitude to those who made this possible] but after several hours with a SIM for Bell [Canada] followed by several hours with a SIM for T-Mobile [US], it never asked once for my unlock code and keeps trying to register me for Sprint.   Has anyone actually managed to enter the unlock code and/or get it properly connected to T-mobile?     I’m sure once it actually asks for my code, I will be fine, but it is puzzling me why it is not asking.    Anyone have any thoughts they’d like to share??

        • This is a bootloader unlock, not an unlock for the GSM radio. They are extremely different. Sorry! Hope you weren’t misled.

          • M8trix says:

            I guess I was mistaken.   At least I won’t beat my head against the wall trying to use a different SIM.   I can always swap SIMs with my Atrix if that is the case.   [Yea, I have both.   I wanted to use 1 phone for US and 1 for Canada to avoid the hassle of swapping SIM’s.]  

            JerryC said “you can also unlock the device itself from any carrier restriction.”  I wanted to use other SIM’s so that I can travel with the phone without Roaming.     I have my unlock code, but it never asks for the code.   

            Am I barking up the wrong tree Kenneth?


          • Currently, I believe there are no GSM unlocking methods for the Photon 4G.

          • M8trix says:

            Thanks for the quick reply.

          • 7laser777 says:

             I have a photon 4G. It works on ATT perfectly. It was originally for Sprint. My friend did it for me

          • Hector says:

            can you have your friend post a tutorial? I really really need a carrier other than sprint.

      • New Photon User says:

        Absolutely! thanks

    • Smitty7861 says:

      I’m getting the same error message, can yall help?

  4. pravakar das says:

    I am the big fan of Motorola brand one week before i purchased Motorola photon 4g though I am not satisfy its blue coloring screen but since two days I am facing problem on talking, when i am using earpiece I can’t hear voice properly.

  5. Jorge says:

    When ever I finish with Step Eight, the RSDlite never tells me that i’m connected. 
    Im running Windows 7- 64 bit 
    I’ve installed the motorola USB drivers for 64 bit and I am able to use adb, and fastboot, but when I try using the RSD it simply does not work. 


  6. Jbcavalier85 says:

    I am lost. I have the screen saying that my phone is “Starting Fastboot protocol support” but where they hell do I type in the commands!?

  7. Anar says:

    You are the best. I couldn`t find the solution on xda.

  8. Steve1 says:

    Do you lose 4G upon doing this?

  9. Brian Lamb73 says:

    Well phone says unlocked mhen u boot it up, however when I insert the att sim the phone doesnt find there network. What am I missing a step?

  10. Eocobby721 says:

    Hey I have a problem
    Ma motorola photon 4g will not boot
    it say
    Failed to boot 3
    starting RSD mode
    Can someone please help.

  11. Ram Chagol says:

    this is very helpful. does anybody know if this will work with US gsm carriers?

  12. Matthew061683 says:

    your sbf unlock file is a .rar and not the right link… any ideas where the real pudding_stock_unlock.sbf file is?

  13. RevDwt says:

    The fastboot package link doesnt work